Friday, November 13, 2009

Zen netbook - Don't be fooled into buying this!

Shopwise recently had a promo wherein if you bought groceries costing at least Php 3,000, you would be eligible to purchase a ZEN netbook for only Php 5,000 (US$100). Here are the (fail) specifications of the netbook (if this should even be called a netbook!)

Screen: 7 inch (16:9)
Resolution rate: 800 x 400
CPU: ARM AK 7802 260 MHz 32-bit
Operation System: Win CE5.0
RAM Capacity: 128 MB
HD capacity: 2GB NAND Flash
Lane: 10/100M Ethernet Access
Wifi: 802.11b/g
USB port: USB 1.1 x 3.0
Compatible with SD card
Build-in stereo speaker
Support USB port mouse
Built-in battery: 2100MAH

My younger brother was given this portable computer as a birthday gift, so I was able to test it and take pictures. It is SUPER SLOW, and my dad proved this by finishing an entire cup of coffee while waiting for his Yahoo Mail to finish loading. The keys are very uncomfortable to type with, and makes a loud sound whenever you press a key. According to a Shopwise salesperson, 500 of these units were actually sold.

Its operating system, Windows CE5.0, is used in smart phones such as PDAs. I wanted to take screenshots, but I was unable to because the Print Screen button doesn't work.

This is obviously China-made, and what's also strange is that there is no website on this device. This is the reason why I'm blogging about it. Please, DO NOT BE FOOLED INTO BUYING THIS. Read the specs first on the box.

Fortunately, my brother was able to get a refund on this, and instead used his Php 5,000 for a more worthy device - an LCD monitor.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New DisOVIries contest from Ovi by Nokia!

Here's a chance to win a 1000 pesos Ayala EGC from OVI by Nokia!

I saw this contest from the Nuffnang website, and all Nokia users are welcome to join.

1. Write your best tech/gadget/game discOVIry to
2. If you do not have an Ovi Mail account, open one at
3. Submit the following details in your email entry: (a) Name, (b) Address, (c) OVI Mail Address, and (d) Mobile Phone Number.
4. Contest period is from October 27 to November 20, 2009. 10 winners will be awarded.

Let me know if you joined! I'd like to hear from you. I think I'll join myself. :D Read more...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nook eBook reader, possibly a big player?

Barnes & Noble has just announced that they will be selling an eBook reader called the Nook. Priced at US$259.00, it's got some awesome features that is "shaking up" this niche industry. Here's what's cool:

  • The first eBook reader using the Android platform
  • 3G and Wi-Fi capable (powered by AT&T)
  • Comes with 2GB memory, with expandable MicroSD slot
  • Plays MP3 audio, with built-in speaker
  • It's got a 3.5" color touch screen at the bottom for easy navigation of books
  • Personalized screen saver
The big advantage of the Nook over Amazon's Kindle is its Barnes & Noble storefront. The bookstore will offer free Wi-Fi at all Barnes & Noble branches, and discounts of e-books when you visit the store. Visiting the bookstore has never become more interesting until now. Maybe this will be the start of a Nook Club.

I think the Nook can revolutionize the way you experience in visiting a bookstore. Imagine this: going to a bookstore with your eBook reader. Then you go to the "eBook reader area" exclusively for Nook Club members. It's got plush couches, maybe even lazyboys. As a Nook Club member, you get to have access to many more books at a super discounted price. This membership can have fees, given the luxurious benefits to members. There's just so much potential with this Nook.

Sadly, there's no Barnes & Noble in the Philippines. I do not even want to hope our bookstores here like Powerbooks and Fully Booked will have their own eBook readers. Instead, they can be a storefront partner for the Nook.

What do you guys think of the Nook? I still think $259.00 is kind of a high price to pay for an eBook reader.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Windows 7 is netbook-friendly, but is it accessible to current netbook owners?

A lot of netbooks and notebooks can now be pre-ordered with the upcoming release of Windows 7 by Oct. 22, and if you want to see a list, check here. Windows 7 looks good and I'd like to try it (if I can afford $199.00) on my current netbook with Windows XP. But how to install? Since netbooks do not come with DVD-drives, does this mean having to purchase an external DVD-drive?

Here's a tip for Windows 7 retailers --> offer free installation of Windows 7 to netbook owners or for notebook pc owners with no dvd-drive.

I wonder how much it would cost in the Philippines, and would price still be at least $199? It's so expensive, huhu. :-( Read more...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Using Joikuspot on my Nokia E71

As mentioned in my previous entry, JoikuSpot shares your phone's 3G internet connection over WiFi (WLAN) to laptops and other WiFi devices. I made use of Joikuspot during last Thursday’s power outage at home, and it proved very useful. Fortunately, I still had around an hour’s worth of battery power on my netbook, and with Joikuspot, I was able to use my phone provider’s (Sun Cellular) 3G HSDPA internet connection on my netbook! It’s fast enough for checking email and surfing. I only encountered a problem when using YM, I couldn’t sign-in. Nonetheless, it’s still great since Gtalk is available and there are web-based IMs such as Meebo if you want to really access Yahoo Messenger.

It’s very simple to set-up Joikuspot:
1. Download and install the Joikuspot software to your phone. You can get it at the Ovi Store.

2. Open the Joikuspot application on your phone. Choose “Yes” when it asks you to allow sharing your internet connection with external devices. Then choose your phone’s access point (in my case, it’s Sun INTERNET).

3. Joikuspot should now be running. Now, turn on your laptop or WiFi device you want to use for accessing the internet.

4. On your WiFi device, check for wireless networks available. Connect to Joikuspot when it appears. And you’re now connected!

Note: The rate for using Sun Internet is PHP 10.00 for 30 minutes, which can be used within a period of 2 hours (in case you disconnect and reconnect). I think this is the standard rate for mobile internet with other providers.

If your phone is capable of 3G internet, I suggest you try this if you have other WiFi devices. :D

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting started on the Nokia E71

I finally have a smart phone! I recently bought a Nokia E71 (in steel and gray) and being a newbie to Symbian phones, I immediately wanted to customize my phone to make it useful for me. I had to read different blogs and websites just to find out the cool applications to install, so I’ve decided to write this entry for newbies like me. I will mention some useful applications and themes, and where to get them. But before I mention those exciting stuff, my first initiative was in making the E71 more feminine-looking.

“Feminizing the E71”
The steel and gray color of the Nokia E71 is just too masculine-looking for me. The solution? I bought a pink jelly casing in Metrowalk for only Php 100.00 (~US$ 2.00). It fits snugly on the phone and gives it protection against scratches.

For the guys out there, there is a gray jelly casing available. My brother also has an E71 with a black hard-casing (Php 100.00 also), pictured below.

The home screen is the first screen you see when you turn on your phone. There are icons of applications across the screen, and this can be changed. They serve as shortcuts to the applications you will use the most.

The applications on my phone include (in order from left to right):
1. Messaging
2. Opera Mini (web browser)
3. Slick (instant messaging)
4. Quick Office
5. Gallery
6. Calcium (calculator)

To change the home screen applications, click on the following:
Menu -> Tools -> Settings -> General -> Personalization -> Home Screen -> Mode Settings -> Home screen applications -> Application shortcuts -> Start setting the applications!

Ovi, by Nokia, allows Nokia users to download free mobile applications and themes. Once you login, the applications displayed will be those that are compatible to your phone model. Since these applications come from Nokia, you can be sure these are official and up to date.

What I like about Ovi is that you do not need a data cable or bluetooth to install the applications because Ovi can send you a link via SMS that will direct you to the Ovi site on your phone.

Some useful applications:
Fring – this application allows you to connect to Google Talk, Yahoo!, MSN Messenger via Wi-Fi. I installed Fring so I can make voice-over-IP calls via my mobile phone. Which means I can make free calls to someone who has Fring installed (like my boyfriend!), in case one of us is out of town or in an area with low cellular reception. It's a good alternative.

JoikuSpot – JoikuSpot shares your phone's 3G internet connection over WiFi (WLAN) to laptops and other WiFi devices. I’ll share my experience on this application in a separate entry.

You Tube – watch You Tube videos on your phone!


Opera Mini 5 – the best mobile web browser!

Slick – instant messenger that supports ICQ, Yahoo, Google, AIM, MSN, and Jabber.

ScreenSnap – enables you to capture screenshots on your phone. I use this software to show the screenshots in this entry.

Calcium Calculator – I got this because it’s easier to use than the built-in calculator. This is great for simple calculations. Download the S60 3rd edition for your phone.

To change your theme, go to:
Menu -> Tools -> Settings -> General -> Personalization -> Themes -> General -> choose a theme

Aside from the Ovi Store, here are some websites where you can get free themes:

I love playing games on my phone! I play Text Twist, Casino games, Bubble Bash, and Smarter than Average Joe (trivia game). Since this can be a lengthy discussion, I shall post this in a separate entry. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sun Cellular's latest: Mobile and Landline in ONE SIM & PHONE

As a loyal Sun postpaid subscriber of Plan 350, I receive email from The Sun Shop on the latest services and promos. This evening, to my surprise, I received an email from Sun that it is now possible to turn my phone into a mobile landline! My initial reaction?

"Yes, finally a competitor of Globe Duo!!!"

From the ad, I just have to pay an additional PHP 249.00 on top of my current subscription plan at PHP 350.00/ month. That would be a total of PHP 599/mo. for a mobile and landline subscription...not bad at all! This is a lot cheaper than Globe Duo, which asks subscribers to pay an additional PHP 399.00/ month.

Those who are Sun Cellular Regular Postpaid Subscribers and Group Plan subscribers.

Dial *738# or Text SDU ON to 2738.

And then in tinier red font on the ad, it states,

Subject to a 6-month subscription contract.

Ummm what does that mean? I have to be a postpaid subscriber for at least 6 months to enjoy the service? Or is there a lock-in period of 6 months once I have availed of this new version of Sun's Double Unlimited?

There's no information from the Sun Cellular website, I hope they post details soon. I'm wondering, will the unlimited landline service be limited to Digitel-to-Digitel calls? I hope not, because most landlines I know are on PLDT.

On the subject of PLDT, will we see something like this with Smart-PLDT?